Bilco High Load Doors Stand the Test of Time

High load access doors manufactured and supplied by Bilco to Aberdeen Harbour Board have stood the test of time and are working as well today as they did when they were installed more than 20 years ago.

Six doors, each measuring 1000 x 1000 mm, are located on the industrial harbour at Aberdeen. They provide access for essential quayside activities such as the refueling of small-to-medium vessels.

The harbour board constantly reviews facilities to ensure they are sufficiently robust to cope with the ever-increasing demands arising from the growing commercial and industrial activity.

ASCO Fuels & Lubricants, part of ASCO Group, was asked to assess the condition of quayside high load doors which provide the vital access points for vessels to refuel.

After nearly a quarter of a century’s service the Bilco doors proved they are still more than equal to the stresses and strains of everyday activity. Close inspection revealed that only the cover springs and lifting mechanisms needed replacing – but the doors themselves still operate as well as ever.

“Instead of needing a complete replacement for these doors all we had to do was a small refurbishment,” said Norman Donaldson, ASCO Fuels terminal manager Aberdeen. “The existing hatch covers were in good working order and did not require replacing.

“The only work we needed to do was to replace the lifting mechanism. This was really beneficial because it meant there were no serious interruptions to the major fuel pipeline supplies.”
Norman added: “If the covers had needed replacing it would have meant major civil engineering work to replace the complete system. Instead, the whole refurbishment only took a couple of hours rather than a couple of days. The condition they were in saved time, effort and money”.
Considering the harbour is always very busy – the oil-related activities alone have increased the volume of industrial activity – and the heavy loads on the doors, he said the doors had stood up well to the increased pressures.

“We operate on a 24/7 basis supplying our customers and as such the doors are used on a daily basis. The original doors were very well made, robust and have fulfilled all the requirements expected of them over many years. They are still very much fit-for-purpose.”

James Fisher, general manager, Bilco UK/Europe, is delighted the equipment has stood up so well to heavy use and the ravages of time.

“The structural integrity of the covers was intact and they had performed extremely well over the years,” said James. “Therefore I suggested that the hardware could be replaced to reinstate their safe and controlled operation.”

• Aberdeen Harbour is a world-class port annually handling around five million tons of cargo for a wide range of industries. As well as being the centre of activity for the offshore oil and gas industry’s marine support operations in North West Europe, it is also:

Northern Scotland’s principal commercial port An international port for general cargo, roll-on, roll-off and container traffic
A marshalling point for exports of oilfield equipment One of the UK’s busiest trust ports.

• Aberdeen-based ASCO Group works with more oil and gas operators in more locations than any other oil and gas logistics company.

ASCO is the world’s leading oil and gas logistics company. In 2009, it generated sales of over £400million. It has around 1,500 people operating in countries across the world such as the US, Canada, UK, Holland, Norway, Singapore, India and the Middle East.

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